Humans are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth’s temperature by burning fossil fuels, cutting down rainforests, and farming livestock. [1]

The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.1 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century.  This change is largely caused by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. 16 of the warmest years on record occurred since 2001.  [2]

Nearly every piece of plastic ever made still exists today.  More than five trillion pieces of plastic are already in the oceans, and by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish, by weight, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. [3]

By 2030, the effects of climate change on agriculture will be key to driving people into poverty. [4]

Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year from malnutrition, malaria, and heat stress. [5]

The global food system, from fertilizer manufacture to food storage and packaging, is responsible for up to one-third of all human-caused gas emissions. [6]

According to an assessment by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 6.7% of all global greenhouse gases come from food waste. [7]

Trash in landfills releases methane gas, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.  Methane is the second most prevalent gas emitted by human activity following carbon dioxide.  Methane emissions are 25 times more damaging to the environment, pound for pound, than carbon-dioxide over a 100 year period.  [8]

 

 

References

[1] Cause of Climate Change, European Commission Directorae-General for Climate Action. 

[2] Climate Change: How do we know?, Earth Science Communications Team, U.S. NASA.

[3] Plastic Island: How our throwaway culture is turning paradise into a graveyard, by Nick Paton Walsh, Ingrid Formanek, Jackson Loo and Mark Phillips, CNN. 

[4] See What Climate Change Means for the World’s Poor, by Gabe Bullard, National Geographic. 

[5]  Climate Change and Health Fact Sheet, World Health Organization. 

[6] One-third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, by Natasha Gilbert, Nature International Weekly Journal of Science.

[7] What you need to know about food waste and climate change, by Andy Murdock, University of California, Carbon Neutrality Initiative.

[8] How your trash is contributing to climate change, by Justin Worland, Time